My dissertation addressed two key puzzles about interactions between members of minority communities and the police, specifically with regard to counterterrorism efforts. First, why do some people alert police to crime—specifically potential extremist violence—while others do not? Contrary to conventional explanations about racial and sociodemographic differences, I found that views of law enforcement's legitimacy, trust in individual police officers, and community norms about handling conflict are the strongest predictors of citizen cooperation. So, why do some police departments do a better job developing positive relationships with minority communities to increase cooperation? I found that an officer's views of community policing and perceived social distance predict support for relationship building efforts both with minorities and in counterterrorism. I used quantitative, experimental, and qualitative methods to examine these puzzles.
PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
- Dolliver, M. & Kearns, E.M. "Is it Terrorism: Public Perceptions, Media, and Labeling the Las Vegas Shooting." Forthcoming, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
- Kearns, E.M. "Claims and Attributions: Why Take Credit for Terrorism?" Online first, Terrorism and Political Violence. *Winner of the 2016 American Society of Criminology's Division of International Criminology Outstanding Student Paper Award *Winner of the 2015 National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Symposium Best Student Paper Award
- Kearns, E.M., Betus, A. & Lemieux, A. "Why Do Some Terrorist Attacks Receive More Media Attention Than Others?" Online first, Justice Quarterly.
- Kearns, E.M., Betus, A. & Lemieux, A. "When Data Don't Matter: Exploring Public Perceptions of Terrorism." Online first, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
- Kearns, E.M., Asal, V., Walsh, J. Federico, C. & Lemieux, A. "Political Action as a Function of Political Grievance and Social Identity: An Experimental Approach." Online first, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
- Kearns, E.M. (2018). "Exploring Officer Views of Community Policing in Counterterrorism." Online first, Police Practice and Research.
- Kearns, E.M. & Young, J.K. (2018). "If Torture is Wrong, What about 24?: Torture and the Hollywood Effect." Crime & Delinquency, 64(12): 1568-1589.
- Lemieux, A., Kearns, E.M., Asal, V. & Walsh, J. (2017). "Support for Political Mobilization, Protest, and Terrorism in Egypt and Morocco: An Online Experimental Study." Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 10(2-3):124-142.
- Kearns, E.M. (2017). "Why Are Some Police Officers More Supportive of Community Policing with Minorities than Others?" Justice Quarterly, 34(7): 1213-1245.
- Kearns, E.M. (2015). "The Study of Torture: Why It Persists, Why Perceptions of It are Malleable, and Why It is Difficult to Eradicate." Laws, 5(1): 1-15.
- Kearns, E.M., Conlon, B.L. & Young, J.K. (2014). "Lying about Terrorism." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 37(5): 422 - 439.
- Young, J.K. & Kearns, E.M. (2016). "Empirical Challenges to Studying Terrorism and Homicide," in The Handbook on Homicide, eds. Fiona Brookman, Edward R. Maguire, and Mike Maguire. Wiley-Blackwell.
- Kearns, E.M. & Young, J.K. (2013). "Military Tactics in Civil War," in The Routledge Companion to Civil War Studies, eds. Edward Newman and Karl DeRouen. Rutledge.
- Kearns, E.M., Federico, C., Asal, V., Walsh, J., Betus, A., Lemieux, A. "Intergroup Images, Grievance, and Support for Protest and Terrorism."
- Kearns, E.M., Ashooh, E. & Lowery-Kinberg, B. "Perceptions of the Police: Defining Trust and Legitimacy of Police by Race."
- Delehanty, C. & Kearns, E.M. "Wait, There's Torture in Zootopia?: Examining the Prevalence of Torture in Popular Movies."
BOOK IN PROGRESS
- Kearns, E.M. & Young, J.K. "Tortured Logic: Why Americans Support for Torture in Counterterrorism." Under contract with Columbia University Press.
- Kearns, E.M. "Why Are Some Crimes Reported to Police While Others Aren't?"
- Kearns, E.M. "If You See Something Do You Say Something?: Using Conjoint Experiments to Examine Why People Report Potential Terrorism Activity."
- Kearns, E.M. "Differentiating Between Legitimacy and Trust In Law Enforcement at the Institutional and Interpersonal Levels."
- Kearns, E.M. & Nix, J. "When do Policing Studies Replicate?: A Review of Multi-Agency Studies."
- Betus, A., Kearns, E.M. & Lemieux, A. "Why Are Some Terrorist Attacks Labeled as Such While Others Aren't?"
- Lowery-Kinberg, B., Mellinger, H. & Kearns, E.M. "Unpacking the Black Box: How Interaction Style and Social DominanceOrientation Impact Perceptions of Police."
- 2015. "When to Claim: A Cross-National Study of Claimed versus Unclaimed Terrorist Attacks." National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Research Brief.
- 2015. "The Role of Law Enforcement in Fighting Terrorism," in Comprehensive Law Enforcement Review, Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS). Consulting researcher and co-author.
- 2015. Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS). Consulting researcher.
- Research Grants Committee (RGC) - $3,000, University of Alabama, 2018-2019.
- College Academy for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (CARSCA) - $4,328, University of Alabama, 2018-2019.
- Fellow, Peace & Violence Research Lab - $4,000, American University, 2015-2016.
- Doctoral Research Award - $4,994, American University, 2015-2016.
- Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Terrorism Research Award - $5,000, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, 2014-2015.
- Faculty Research Support Grant (with Joseph K. Young) – $10,000, American University, 2014, to conduct a series of experiments on perceptions of counterterrorism policies.
- School of Public Affairs Research Scholars Grant (with Joseph K. Young) – $5,000, American University, 2013, to conduct a series of experiments on perceptions of counterterrorism policies.
- Undergraduate Summer Scholars Grant–$2,000, Miami University, 2004
SELECT MEDIA COVERAGE
- NPR's "All Things Considered," (March 23, 2018)
- "Humanity in the Headlines," (February 24, 2018)
- Colorado Public Radio, (November 9, 2017)
- ABC Australia, "Radio National," (July 6, 2017)
- NPR's "Morning Edition," (June 20, 2017)
- NPR's "Hidden Brain" podcast with Shankar Vedantam, (June 19, 2017)
- "CBS/KCBS San Francisco with Susan Kennedy," (March 19, 2017)
- "CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin," (December 10, 2014)
- Kearns, E.M. & Amarasingam, A. "How News Media Talk about Terrorism & What the Evidence Shows," Just Security (April 5, 2019)
- Kearns, E.M. "An Expert on Political Violence Explains why the NRA's Ads Matter," The Trace (August 8, 2017)
- Kearns, E.M., Betus, A. & Lemieux, A., "Yes, the Media Do Underreport Some Terrorist Attacks, Just Not the Ones Most People Think of," Washington Post (March 13, 2017)
- Kearns, E.M., "Torture Doesn't Works, So Why are We Still Discussing It?" Political Violence at a Glance (February 2, 2017)
- Kearns, E.M. & Young, J., "Dramatic depictions of torture increase support for it," Washington Post (December 12, 2014)
My Work Featured In:
- The Guardian, "Terror Attacks by Muslims Receive 357% more press attention, study finds," (July 20, 2018)
- Think Progress, "America has a Skewed Perception of What Qualifies at Terrorism," (October 4, 2017)
- Foreign Policy, "The Rohingya Are the New Palestinians," (September 26, 2017)
- MSNBC with Ari Melber, "Study: Media Overrepresents Muslims as Terrorists," (July 2, 2017)
- Think Progress, "Non-Muslim Attackers Get a Lot Less Media Coverage than Those Who Claim Islam," (June 19, 2017)
- Cato Institute, "GAO Weights in on 'Countering Violent Extremism'," (April 13, 2017)
- Reason, "Do Muslims Commit Most U.S. Terrorist Attacks?" (March 24, 2017)
- The Independent, "News Media Do Under-Report Some Terrorist Attacks - Just Not Those Involving Islamist Extremists," (March 13, 2017)
- Pacific Standard, "Can Jack Bauer Convince You to Torture?" (January 5, 2015)
- Vox, "Torture is a culture. Releasing the Senate report is a way of fighting it," (December 11, 2014)
- The Washington Post, "The Senate CIA report says enhanced interrogation doesn't work. But Hollywood thinks it does," (December 10, 2014)
- Vox, "'24' makes people support torture, and other discoveries political scientists made this year," (September 8, 2014)